Reading Round-Up, 10 November

Today we celebrate the 233 birthday of the US Marine Corps. Tomorrow we remember all of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and civilians who serve or have served their countries. Just as we reflect on the historic moments of last week’s election, we need to remember that these are the men and women who have helped give us these freedoms every day for 233 years … and counting. Charles C. Haynes speaks to the links of these phenomena in his op-ed piece Beyond the election: E Pluribus Unum

Before I jump in to the round-up, I want to shout out to Jen Robinson for her help in adding items for this week’s Round-Up. Pulling together the round-up is getting to be a bigger job, but that’s good news. It means a lot of people are thinking about, talking about, and doing something about literacy. You’ll notice a lot more bullets. That lets me group like items and avoid long paragraphs.

And the Award Goes To Let’s start the week with some good news. International Reading Contest Thousands of children in County Clare, Nova Scotia (Canada), London (UK), and the United States competed for the “best readers in the world” competition. Clare County Public Library sponsors WOW! Transatlantic Children’s Reading Challenge as a program to reduce crime through literacy. Big Tancook Elementary School in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, Canada, took first place. We read the press release, Transatlantic Reading Challenge Wins Award.

Grant Opportunities There were a few items of interest this past week.

  • YALSA’s MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens award honors a YALSA member for developing an outstanding reading or
  • literature program for young adults. Winners receive $500 and an additional $500 for their libraries.  The MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust. Applications for the MAE Award, along with all of YALSA’s grants and awards, are due to the YALSA office by Dec. 1, 2008.
  • The Barbara Bush Texas Fund for Family Literacy and the Texas Center for the Advancement of Literacy and Learning  in the College of Education and Human Development will be offering disaster recovery grants for Texas adult and family literacy programs adversely affected by Hurricane Ike and the Rio Grande flooding in September 2008. Read more in this article Disaster Recover Grants Available for Adult and Family Literacy Programs posted at Literacy and Reading News.


45 Shopping Days Left This past weekend marks the first big push to entice us to get ready for the holidays. To help get you in the holiday spirit, stop by the Wild Rose Reader. As you’re putting together your gift list — or a wish list for your kids for friends and relatives — be sure to include a few books. Here are some ways to get you started.

  • Anne-Marie at My Readable Feast suggests comic books for reluctant readers. Her recommendation is TOON Books, “high quality books for emerging and reluctant readers. Read her post about bringing readers to the pleasure of comics for all the details..
  • Over at 5 Minutes For Books, has suggestions of books for boys. Click through to see some of the books that, in her words, “are just plain cool.”
  • Karen at Mommy’s Favorite Children’s Books is hosting this month’s Carnival of Children’s Literature. Her theme is “the gift of reading.” If you have a favorite gift title or are looking for one, this will be a great place to visit.

Libraries are Cool! This isn’t news to us, there have been a number of articles on that theme this year. Here’s something new: 

  • the ten coolest public libraries in the United States. John Micklos (Reading Today Daily) gives us the lead to K. Nadine Kavanaugh’s entry for MSN City Guides.
  • Jacqueline Lichtman wrote an article for the Daily Progress article about library trends in Charlottesville, but the article isn’t online. Here’s the gist: library visits for Fiscal 2008 were up 30 percent. My favorite part: “More children signed up for the summer reading program than ever before.”
  • There’s also a great School Library Journal article by Debra Lau Whelan about how teens in Milford Massachusetts convinced Massachusetts voters to save libraries. “Some 70 percent of Massachusetts residents shot down a referendum to eliminate the state income tax, a move that would have had dire consequences for public libraries.” Now that’s cool!

A is for Apple At the Teaching Pre-K to 8 website, Maryann Manning had a post Dispelling Six Myths of Phonics. She admits up front that this is a touchy subject, and offers studied analysis and personal experience to explain how the myths perpetuate. This tidbit in Myth #4 got my attention: “Each year, I test more than 100 students who are experiencing difficulty as readers and I’ve found that many of these students have had so much phonics instruction that they believe reading is merely sounding out words.” Here are some reading-related ideas that may work.

  • At the Ideal Education blog, Suri offers a post about how to build literacy skills through games. If you’re an educator, definitely check out the blog. It is well organized and has links to other literacy-related portals.
  • Trevor Cairney (Literacy, Families and Learning blog) has How to listen to your child read, a post filled with general strategies for reading aloud, do’s and don’ts of reading aloud, as well as ways to use “miscues” to understand how your child reads.
  • The Star-Gazette online brings us an article with 5 tips to improve literacy skills. It’s worth clicking through to Catherine A. White’s post, as it also includes a comment with a link to a site that helps you understand “the main reasons why reading development can go wrong.” Jen found the original story in this summary on the Reading Rockets website.
  • There is an interesting article at the ALSC blog about Using Sign Language in Early LIteracy Programs. Kiera Parrot, the author, cites the popularity of these books and DVDs as a trend that encouraged her to use ASL in her baby and toddler programs. Jen found the link at the Kid Tested, Librarian Approved blog.
  • In Charles County, Maryland, elementary school students practice reading aloud with volunteers who participate in the Reading Partners program. The emphasis of the article in the Southern Maryland Newspapers Online is the number of seniors who volunteer with the group. You can learn more in Louise Ash’s post Kids Read out Loud to Seniors for Reading Today Daily.
  • The Lewis County (Washington) Literacy Council created Family Reading Night. This is a community event held twice each month at the mall. The event is designed to help not only children, but adults with education and literacy needs, as well. Read the summary in Louise Ash’s post
    Family Reading Night Serves Dual Purpose in Reading Today Daily or read the full article in the Chronicle (online).
  • In Harrisonburg, Virginia, 40 parents at Spotswood Elementary School voluntarily attend . This two-hour program mirrors a professional development conference, but is designed to give parents tools that will help their children become successful students. We read about it in Louise Ash’s post for Reading Today Daily.

Holy Cow! “What’s black and white and seen all over Alberta (Canada)? The Classroom on Wheels (COW).” The COW is a 38-foot bus painted black and white to look like a cow and it has traveled to all corners of the Canadian province promoting early literacy since 2003. Read  Moo for Literacy in Reading Today Daily.


Is it a Generation Gap? Today’s Brightest No Match for Those of the Prior Generation is a post at the Open Education blog. Thomas (author) provides a detailed summary of a UK study about how kids  today don’t test as well as kids from an earlier generation. Here’s a link to a video with Professor Michael Shayer, the study’s author. The original Kings College study is not online, but you can read a second analysis at Education Watch International. There is a related article about Coping with flat high school reading scores at Reading Today Daily.

Good News for the Next Generation
Thanks to a $3.5 million donation from two grandparents, South Florida will have a transitional school for gifted children with dyslexia. They were inspired by their two grandchildren, both dyslexic. The money will purchase and renovate two buildings that will serve as the academy campus and also host the Florida Southern Department of Education, the college’s demonstration preschool and kindergarten, the Hollis-Hays Children’s Library and the Roberts Center for Learning and literacy, which trains teachers to identify learning difficulties. Read BA Haller’s article
Grandparents fund dyslexia academy in Florida in The Ledger.


7 responses to “Reading Round-Up, 10 November

  1. Wow! That was a ton of very informative stuff. Thanks for your work. (Both you and Jen.) Now I have a lot of blogs to visit from this.

  2. Added to My Blogroll

    Elaine M.

    I just wanted to let you know that I just added a link to TubTalk in my blogroll at Wild Rose Reader.

    1. Re: Added to My Blogroll

      Thanks Elaine. I needed a reminder to update the blogroll here! We’ve got Wild Rose Reader at the other spot, but need to update here, too.

  3. Thanks for the link!

    I like Jen’s linky lists–very useful in all sorts of ways. I’ll definitely be back to your site now you’ve joined forces. Thanks for mentioning my blog.

  4. Hi Terry,
    Thanks for this post! Glad to see that you and Jen have joined forces. The roundup on Literacy Now isn’t nearly this in-depth, but I am glad to know where to come to get some great information. Keep up the good work!


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